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to wish that people would stop (mis)diagnosing themselves?

(165 Posts)
AKMD Wed 03-Aug-11 10:14:46

Why do so many people diagnose themselves or their children with illnesses that they do not have? For example:

"Oh, I have asthma" = you are unfit and so get out of breath easily when you do have to run for that bus.

"I am allergic to broccoli" = you just don't like broccoli.

"I have a migraine" = you might have a headache but if you had a migraine you would be at home in bed with the curtains drawn, unable to attend this party.

"DS has ADHD" = your DS is spoiled to death, you set him no boundaries and so he runs riot.

Inevitably, when sympathised with and asked when they were diagnosed the reply is "Oh, I haven't seen the doctor about it, I just know." hmm They have no idea what life is like for people who actually do have these conditions and their laziness and exaggeration make it incredibly difficult for real sufferers to be believed or accommodated for. It makes me so cross - AIBU?

thursday Wed 03-Aug-11 10:16:18

yes, it's very annoying.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Aug-11 10:17:23

Are you a real sufferer of a broccoli allergy then?

Or are YOU just making the same assumptions you are accusing others of?

squeakytoy Wed 03-Aug-11 10:18:20

Totally agree with you Op grin

AKMD Wed 03-Aug-11 10:20:35

Starlight if someone tells me they have an allergy I always take it very seriously, ask them about it etc. to make sure that I can make special arrangements if they're at my house and so that I don't inadvertently make them ill. 9 times out of 10 people have just been making it up. I don't understand why they would do that instead of just saying 'I don't like broccoli' - it isn't hard to say!

allhailtheaubergine Wed 03-Aug-11 10:21:30

I'm always amazed by the number of people with "flu" who are out of bed, walking around, getting on with their day.

FilthyDirtyHeathen Wed 03-Aug-11 10:21:46

I haven't met anybody that makes these claims but I would think they were pretty daft if they did.

I am not sure however that these sort of false claims would prevent genuine cases being 'accommodated' whatever that means. It certainly wouldn't prevent them getting treatment.

bananasplitz Wed 03-Aug-11 10:23:07

oh its quicker than going to the docs isnt it grin

i know a woman who has self diagnosed herself and her kids with "a bit of adhd/aspergers" whatever that means. Mind you, she self diagnosed herself with all sorts when pregnant and woe betide you if you asked if it was a medical diagnosis lol

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 03-Aug-11 10:24:00

YANBU - a cold with a cough is always a chest infection for some people. A sore knee is arthritis etc. Very irritating and what do they do when they really get these conditions (other than calling it a severe chest infection)?

allhailtheaubergine Wed 03-Aug-11 10:24:12

And I spent bloody years making special arrangements for my neighbour's son who has a "dairy allergy". I was so frantic about it - always buying the special things his mum said he could have, always aware of cross contamination, always on alert.

Then my own son got diagnosed with a dairy allergy and I quickly discovered that half the 'special foods' neighbour's son could have had bloody milk powder in them. hmm

AKMD Wed 03-Aug-11 10:24:41

FWIW I have asthma (for real), one friend is lactose intolerant, another has food protein intolerance, my mum suffers from migraines, as does another close friend, and one has a son with ADHD. In particular, the friend whose DS has ADHD has had many ignorant people tell her that it's a made-up condition applied to every badly behaved child and that seems to be a fairly common perception.

itisnearlysummer Wed 03-Aug-11 10:29:41

It is annoying, but it is possible to have a strong suspicion that someone suffers from something before it is diagnosed. Otherwise, people wouldn't go to the drs suspecting they have something.

I agree that some people use it as a short cut/excuse because they don't understand that the real condition is more than just "I can't get Kyle to sit down at the dinner table. He must have ADHD".

My DH tells people he is allergic to cheese. He isn't, but it makes him sick. The thought of it, the taste of it, the smell of it. He tells people he's allergic because then they don't try and feed it too him. Otherwise, people try and disguise it in food (like my mum!) just so that they can go "ha, you just ate cheese!" They don't do that if they think he is allergic to it!

I agree its annoying. I would slightly disagree with the migraine comment, it is possible to be out and about with a migraine (I suffer from migraine with aura and if I take strong painkillers as soon as the aura starts then sometimes the migraine doesn't develop fully but is still there IYSWIM). So I might say to someone when I am out that I am having a migraine. And no, I have never been diagnosed with migraine because I only have a couple a year and the symptoms I suffer are textbook.

However, nitpicking apart I agree with the general thrust of what you are saying.

ElfOnTheTopShelf Wed 03-Aug-11 10:30:47

Its allowable for anybody under my doctors surgery to make their own diagnosis. I went into the doctors because I was feeling really run down (everytime I sat down, I fell asleep blush). The doctor looked at me and told me I had a bad case of anemia, prescribed me a shed load of iron tablets and sent me on my way.
So, self diagnosis here is just as reliable as a doctors diagnosis, 'cept you have to go if you need the drugs grin

squeakytoy Wed 03-Aug-11 10:33:28

The problem with ADHD is if there werent so many idiotic parents who use it as an excuse for the inability to discipline their badly behaved children, the ones who genuinely have this condition would not get the stigma that comes with it as they do now, and there would be more understanding rather than doubt.

Unfortunately there are a lot of parents who have pushed and pushed to get a diagnosis, and exaggerrated their kids "problems", when it is very clear to many who know them well that the root cause is poor parenting.

I honestly dont know why, but there does seem to be a growing trend these days to have an intolerance, or an allergy.. back in the olden days, I dont recall very many kids in my school having so many problems.. my DIL informed me that our grandaughter has an allergy to dairy.. er no, she doesnt, she was sick ONCE after having a milkshake (aged 4).. she wasnt bloody intolerant, or allergic... she was just sick!

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Aug-11 10:33:36

Okay, perhaps I was quick to jump in.

The disabled issue is complicated though. ADHD can exist without a diagnosis. The current system is crap at getting children diagnosed and helped and the number of parents that KNOW something is up but not taken seriously because of the cost implications is rising.

In addition, the idea that people self-diagnosis ADHD to excuse their role/responsibility to contribute to society is a current favourite myth of the current government and it riles me to see it here, where people 'could' join in with victimising and already vulnerable section of society.

Further it is possible to have ADHD AND be spoilt. The two are not mutually exclusive.

idrilis Wed 03-Aug-11 10:34:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Melly20MummyToPoppy Wed 03-Aug-11 10:35:28

My grandma reckons ADHD is made up too, I was telling her about 2 brothers i know who have it and she said "oh there was never anything like that in our day, it's just a 'condition' they label badly behaved children with." she said a lot more but can't remember what it was. I was only 14 at the time too so i believed her as i always used to believe everything she said. I know better now of course.

AKMD Wed 03-Aug-11 10:36:29

Starlight this is true. I heard a programme on the radio yesterday where a woman with a son with ADHD was talking about how hard it was to get a diagnosis. This makes me doubly cross that people make it up.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Aug-11 10:37:06

'Unfortunately there are a lot of parents who have pushed and pushed to get a diagnosis, and exaggerrated their kids "problems", when it is very clear to many who know them well that the root cause is poor parenting.'

You have to push and push for a diagnosis of any 'hidden disability'. Bad parenting does not negate a disability. Oh if it only could........

The NHS does not diagnose for the sake of pushy parents, but pushy parents are better able to get an ACCURATE diagnosis.

Whatmeworry Wed 03-Aug-11 10:39:05

I am increasingly coming to teh conclusion that many kids with these cocktails of "ishoos" are actually suffering from Manically Overanxious Mother Syndrome.

squeakytoy Wed 03-Aug-11 10:40:04

It has become harder in recent years, to get a diagnosis. A few years ago it wasnt, which is why we had a huge rise in the number of children with the condition.

Whatmeworry Wed 03-Aug-11 10:40:20

...and it makes diagnosing the kids with real issues, and getting them taken seriously, far harder.

timetoask Wed 03-Aug-11 10:40:47

OP, I agree with Starlight.
I understand what you mean and agree that people self-diagnosing without consulting a specialist is not helpful to those who actualy suffer from a condition.

Having said that, it really is NOT helpful at all to see ADHD mentioned in thread such as this one. It is misunderstood condition. Unfortunately, many people (diagnosis or not) still think it is due to bad parenting.

Those of us with children that have special needs and struggle with difficult behaviour despite being good parents need support, not more threads like this one.

Filibear Wed 03-Aug-11 10:44:55

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

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